Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES GMD Radiation Research Scientist

CIRES GMD Radiation Research Scientist

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) has an opening for a Radiation Research Scientist with experience in high accuracy solar and infrared radiation measurements and analysis for research in climate monitoring and renewable energy. The position will be in the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. The researcher will work closely with a team of CIRES and federal scientists helping to maintain, improve, and analyze the global radiation (G-RAD) group’s historical and contemporary broadband and spectral radiation measurements from its 21 SURFRAD, SOLRAD, and global sites. These data are used to validate numerical weather models and estimates of surface radiation quantities retrieved from satellites. The group also uses these data to look for long-term changes in the radiation budget at the earth’s surface and to offer explanations for those changes. Renewable solar energy research is becoming a growth area for the group. The position will include working with NOAA numerical weather and climate modeling and satellite groups to improve their retrieval procedures. This is a position that requires significant experience in the area of radiation measurements, analysis, and research. 

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

NOAA/ESRL's Global Monitoring Division (GMD) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducts research that addresses three major challenges including greenhouse gas and carbon cycle feedbacks, changes in clouds, aerosols, and surface radiation, and recovery of stratospheric ozone. GMD’s five research groups – Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases (CCGG), Halocarbons and other Atmospheric Trace Species (HATS), Ozone and Water Vapor (OZWV), Aerosols (AERO), and Global Radiation (G-RAD) – make and analyze observations, applying their expertise to address these themes. The unique observing systems operated by each research group come together at GMD’s four baseline observatories, which serve as the backbone of the GMD observing system. However, most of the measurements from each group are made at other locations, including collaborator sites, sites in other networks, and on ships and aircraft. GMD’s research groups work together in developing and maintaining their observing networks and, especially, in understanding, interpreting, and publishing results.

GMD’s observations and research are critical to sustaining and preserving long-term observing records around the world. Because of the geographic coverage of GMD’s observing systems, consistent high quality, and relevance to ongoing scientific endeavors, GMD’s influence reaches well beyond monitoring, research, and scientific publications. Ultimately, GMD provides numerous products and services in support of the scientific community and society; fundamental, world-class data sets and analyses for national and international assessments; calibration, quality control, and observing sites to support international networks; leadership in national and international organizations; data for the validation and evaluation of satellite and modeling products; and improved forecasting for renewable energy resources. Tying research to applications results in the development of a variety of products supporting society. 

GMD’s vision and mission support the broader objectives of NOAA’s Strategic Plan and are aligned with the vision and mission of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR).


Examples of priority topics:

  • Develop and optimize procedures to compare point measurements of radiation made by G-RAD with the time and spatial resolution elements of radiation models and satellite pixels.
  • Analyze the long-term radiation data sets acquired by the G-RAD group to quantify and explain trends, if any, in shortwave and longwave radiation, making use of ancillary measurements of meteorological quantities, aerosol optical depth, and sky images.
  • Lead collaborative efforts aimed at improving the ability to accurately calibrate and operate radiation systems to ensure scientific quality, long-term surface radiation measurements.
  • Assist in the development of a real-time data capability to make provisional data sets available within 15 minutes after radiation measurements are taken, especially for short-term solar resource assessment needs.
  • Investigate the best processes for estimating total irradiance on an arbitrarily oriented surface given the direct normal irradiance, the diffuse horizontal irradiance, and the surface albedo for improving solar radiation resource assessments for arbitrary orientations of flat panel photovoltaic devices.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent in the physical sciences with significant experience in radiation measurements and analysis.
  • Experience in applied mathematics and statistics.
  • Extensive experience in handling moderately large scientific data sets.
  • A strong publication record that includes first author publications.
  • Skill in a programming language.
  • Evidence of experience in public speaking.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Knowledge of calibration science desirable.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Application Materials

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume/CV.
  2. Cover letter briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Proof of degree in either a transcript confirming highest degree or a copy of diploma.
  4. List of contact information for 3 references who would be willing to write a recommendation letter if you are selected as the finalist.
    • If you are selected as the finalist, we will contact you through email and request that you submit 1 name and email of a reference who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation (can be one of the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only the search committee.

Screening will begin immediately, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Job Number


Date Posted

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Research Associate